Lead Article:Summer Lovin – Amsterdam’s Top Summer Parties n’ Festivals
The summer of 2014 is set to be one of the hottest on record and we at the Pigs are gonna celebrate with every ounce of party energy we can muster. From kick ass parties for twenty-years of the Pigs being in Amsterdam to the world famous Julidans dance festival, here are you best bets for a dance till dawn - this summer in the Dam.
The Flying Pig 20th Birthday Party – June 6, 2014
If you guys are lucky enough to be staying at the Uptown and Downtown hostel on Friday the sixth of July, you’re in for a real treat! This epic date marks twenty-years of the Flying Pig hostels in Amsterdam and in true piggie style, we’re throwing a party for you guys - to say thanks for staying with us over the years! You’ll find festivities at both hostels but it’s the downtown that will really be taking it to town with a cheeky glass of champagne for guests (until we run out!), shot girls and boys doing the rounds and a shiz-hot DJ spinning some tunes! Throw in a fancy photographer documenting your good times and a hostel camera crew, and you guys are all set to feel like the VIP hostel guests that you truly are!
Amsterdam Open Air – June 7 and 8, 2014
This two-day Electronica extravaganza in Gaasperpark returns for what will surely be an unforgettable fourth-year in the sunshine bathed leafy field. The organsiers promise 48-hours of immense, musical, culinary and cultural good times, with over-night stay options in the campsite and a HUGE dance floor. Better still this year the festival takes place over the Dutch National Holiday Whitsun, so your fellow Holland-based revelers will really be in a party mood! On the five main stages and the chill island, the music genres of house, techno, disco, hip hop and electro are going to be well represented, so get involved!
Julidans – July 1 to 12, 2014
This international contemporary dance festival is famous the world over and with venues hosting this across the city, you’re sure to find a place, and sound to match your mood. Top spots include Stadsschouwburg, Paradiso, Theater Bellevue, Melkweg, Bijlmer Parktheater and the Vondelpark Open Air Theatre! For a full break down of the latest line up, locations and good times, check out the website. www.julidans.nl
Amsterdam Live on Stage - July 26, 2014
After the raucous success of this festival’s first year in 2013, Amsterdam Live on Stage is back for another night of foot-stomping vibes over the Riekerhaven, near the Amsterdamse Bos. This year is all about the energy of live electro-instrumentals, so you can rest assured that the line-up will be something special. Confirmed for this year are the South-African electro duo Goldfish, Denver's Pretty Lights and Bakermat. For the final listings, be sure to take a trip to the festival’s
Facebook page .
- Max Waverly
Music Reviews From The Flying Pig
London Grammar: If You WaitHave you guys heard of this threesome yet? I’m sure you have as they’ve been hitting the high notes all over Europe over the past few months. Any which way, let’s have a chat about what they offer.
Taking a deep slow breath in, as if to absorb the music into my lungs and have it wash all over me, I'm hooked. Have you ever sat on the water at Cafe Del Mar Ibiza? Well, the DJs favour a slow song of the season and time the ending that it lays with the sun setting over the water. It’s that feeling in the heat of summer, when the last seconds of warm sun glisten against your face, making you feel truly and magical. I can envisage a London Grammar song taking hold of that spot this year. The album definitely holds an ambient Ibiza vibe.
Classically influenced vocals, married with Electronica, keyboard, a building percussion and some steady guitar strums, epitomize the album. 23-year-old Hannah Ried, the young lady behind that operatic soothing voice and sunkissed locks, is the defining feature of this trio. Hannah and guitarist Dan Rothman met at Nottingham University and went on to collaborate with Dominic Major on keyboard and drums, before signing to the Ministry of Sound label.
Their sound is strong and at times pained, but perfectly crafted with deep meaning and fulfilment. More for the ladies perhaps? I’m sure a lot of young girls can relate to the trauma and heartache of relationships, damaged hearts and the crumbling dreams Hannah sings of. The lyric: “I might seem so strong, I might speak so long, I’ve never been so wrong” on the track Strong, serve up a sound that’s rich, silky, and moving.
Sombre? Some might say but I prefer to view it as soft, soothing and emotion provoking. The music that seems to be making an impact at the moment is that which adopts a simple approach. Keyboard, drums, vocals - done. Each aspect in the trio has its place and can be appreciated.
The pre released number - Wasting My Young Years - is clearly one of the most loved tracks on the album, already big in several countries. You can feel the drums build and build the song - like a racing animal, gathering momentum with Hannah’s enchanting and euphoric voice at the forefront.
The cover of Nightcall takes on a similar vibe and is perfectly orchestrated, with soothing notes and a compelling chorus. The lesser known High Life however, takes on a more discreet tone, showcasing some softer vocals and a nice percussion throughout.
I wouldn’t say this album is for everyone because as some reviews point out, it can be a little repetitive, but I urge you to give it a chance. Compared to most of the music in the charts at the moment, there really is nothing like it.
- Lara Bradley
Europe’s Famous Hostels: Travel Inspiration: London and Paris by Rail
There are several well known cities in the world like London and Paris that have preserved their legacy and rich cultural heritages. They have not sat back on their laurels however, they have modernised and offer a lot to any type of tourist, amiking them the perfect spots for a city break.
London has been the seat of power for centuries. It offers grandeur and royalty and has a lot in store for you in terms of sightseeing. With Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, the River Thames and Borough Market, the city offers attractions for every type of traveller. Plus if you’re not a fan of sightseeing, then London certainly has a lot more to offer in terms of food, shopping and excellent theater productions! In fact the entertainment on offer in London is comparable to every other world class city.
The most iconic sights of London include Westminster Abbey and Covent Garden – serving up excellent theatre and shopping opportunities, plus some great live street artists and buskers.
If you’re planning a short city break holiday between London and Paris, the best way to travel between the two is train. The Eurostar train service runs between London and Paris, making the journey much quicker than taking a flight. Trains leave London St. Pancras and arrive in Paris Gare du Nord in just over two hours, door to door. If you feel like extending your Eurostar experience you can even get to Brussels, Amsterdam and Geneva using the high-speed service.
Paris, often referred to as the city of love, is the perfect city break holiday destination. It offers tones of entertainment and sights that can make your trip one of a lifetime. Amazing sightseeing spots include The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, The Louvre and the Palace of Versailles. People in Paris are some of the best-looking according to world-wide polls, and are famous for their sense of style. Paris is also home to some of the best known names in the fashion industry, with an eclectic blend of the ancient, and the modern making the city unique.
Therefore, a short four-day city break holiday for a backpacker would be just perfect between London and Paris. These cities offer some of the best attractions and the best places to eat, and shop.
Book great beds in London and Paris through Europe's Famous Hostels.
Flying Pig Beach Hostel : News From the Beach Hostel
Happy 15th Birthday Flying Pig Beach Hostel - Saturday May 31, 2014
It’s not just the Flying Pig Amsterdam hostels who are celebrating a birthday with their big two-zero this summer. The Flying Pig Beach Hostel will be turning 15 in May so we’ve picked out the best events from the last six-months, to celebrate our birthday in style! From the greatest foodie evenings, to our infamous Rum and Bass nights, we have it all. To thank you all for supporting The Flying Pig Beach for the past 15-years, there will be extra drink specials, surprises aplenty and games galore. Come along, celebrate with us and help make the next 15-years just as fantastic!
This is Europe’s permanent space expedition. Located on an industrial estate on the edge of Noordwijk, Space Expo doesn't look much from the outside, but it’s much bigger on the inside - packed with super interesting exhibits, and interactive displays.
You can check out some great space memorabilia, including a cutaway space station where you can get an astronaut's view of circling the earth. There are some beautiful images taken from space too, plus displays showing you how you how to align the planets in our solar system, a weightless space walk room, a satellite launch command and a Soyuz rocket flight simulator.
The varying landscapes of woods, rugged dunes and colourful tulip fields are a great backdrop for biking, and hiking around the beach hostel. Of course you can venture out yourself, but you have a choice of highly recommended, set out at the Noordwijk Visitor Centre.
Literary Route Noordwijk
The literary Route Noordwijk is a free and amazing app for smart phones. Using this, visitors can take a self guided walking tour to learn more about all the areas of this bustling village. With info on famed local writers such as Henriette Roland Holst, Albert Verwey, Harry Mulisch and Susan Smit, it’s well worth a listen. The guide on this tour is the famous actor Hans Croiset – who is supported by some specially composed music, sound effects and photos. www.noordwijk.info/en/detail/consumer/literaire-route-noordwijk